Drive

(Not the Ryan Gosling movie)

I see a lot of bloggers giving advice to aspirants & beginners in [whatever their field is] saying what amounts to, “if you aren’t going to make this the most important thing in your life, and work at it unpaid 8-12 hours per day, you should just give up now.”

This is discouraging, becauseĀ I don’t exactly have a driven personality. I never have had one. In high school and college, I did reasonably well at a lot of things (writing, running, theatre, ultimate frisbee, having a social life) without having to put forth much effort. Since then, though, circumstances have changed.

Now, out of school and in “real life,” it’s a lot easier to relax and watch Netflix than it is to go for a run, or write with no expectation or reward, or go find people to do stuff with. (I moved to a new city 3 time zones away 2 months ago. I’ve never been good at meeting new people, so this is on my mind.) Staying home and consuming media is a very easy way to push the pleasure button in my brain.

I don’t think it’s a good or healthy long term strategy, though. There are a few nouns I’d like to be included in my epitaph, and I’m not headed in the right direction for any of them.

I’m not sure if it’s possible to change my core personality. I’m always going to like relaxing and having fun (and really who doesn’t?). But I do think I can work to change my habits and do better at going after the things I want to be someday.

All this came to mind because Nanowrimo is coming up in a few weeks. I’ve tried a couple times before, and usually wound up dropping out in the first week. But it’s a new year. It’s a chance to start fresh, and maybe get something going. Most importantly, it’s a chance to add a drive-like skill set to my took box.

Is it going to work? Maybe, maybe not. I really don’t know. But I can look at my last couple years, and look at the (potential) next 40+ years, and I know I don’t want to wind up where driveless living will take me.